NCURA Peer Programs

Unit-Level Sponsored Programs Review

Standards for Effective Unit-Level Sponsored Programs Operations

The NCURA Unit-Level Standards represent baselines for sponsored programs operations located at the college, school, or organized research unit level and that provide a supportive environment for the conduct of extramurally funded activities.  Similar to the Central-Level Standards, they guarantee your unit-based operation is assessed against a consistent set of features applied to all institutions.   Unlike an audit, the totality of a sponsored programs operation is assessed. While recognizing that institutions differ in organizational structure and institutional priorities, these Standards reflect how the institution integrates the sponsored programs enterprise with its institutional goals and expectations and operationalizes effective sponsored programs administration. 

Interested in learning more about the Standards? Contact us to request a copy of the full Standards, which contains the detailed description of what NCURA Peer Reviewers consider when conducting a Peer Review. 

Unit-Level Planning and Investment in their Research Enterprise
I. STANDARD for Integration and Planning for Unit-Level Research.

II. STANDARD for the Unit's Investment in their Research Infrastructure and Alignment to Institutional Resources.


Unit-Level Research Administration Components and Structure
III. STANDARD for the Organization of Research Administration within the Unit.

IV. STANDARD for Advisory or Other Standing Committees that Support the Unit’s Research Enterprise. 

V. STANDARD for Unit’s Research Administration Staffing and Staff Development.

VI. STANDARD for the Unit’s Commitment to Support Research Administration.


Unit Research Administration Communication and Outreach
VII. STANDARD for the Unit’s Research Administration Communication Interfaces.

VIII. STANDARD for Outreach Efforts and Program of Education for the Unit’s Faculty and Staff.


Faculty Engagement and Faculty Burden
IX. STANDARD for the Unit’s Attention to Faculty Engagement and Faculty Burden. 


The Unit's Research Administration Policy and Risk Assessment
X. STANDARD for Risk Assessment by Unit Research Administration.

XI. STANDARD for the Unit-Level Research Administration Policy and Relationship to Institutional Policy. 

XII. STANDARD for Research Administration Business Continuity within the Unit.

Systems and Data Supporting the Unit's Research Administration and Faculty
XIII. STANDARD for Information Systems Supporting the Unit’s Research Administration Operations and Decision-Making.
XIV. STANDARD for Management of Research Administration Data Relevant to Unit Needs. 


Unit-Level Research Partnerships and Associations

XV. STANDARD for Research Partnerships Between the Unit and Other Organizations.
XVI. STANDARD for the Unit's Responsibilities for Research Associations with Non-Employed Individuals.

The Integration of Research Development Operations Across Unit and Institution
XVII. STANDARD for the Unit’s Role in Funding Information and Proposal Services. 


Unit-Level Sponsored Program Responsibilities and Services
XVIII. STANDARD for Proposal Review and Submission of Unit Research Activities. 

XIX. STANDARD for Award Review and Negotiation for the Unit’s Incoming Awards. 

XX. STANDARD for Activities and Communications Surrounding the Acceptance of the Unit’s Awards.

XXI. STANDARD for Award Activation and Notification to Unit Stakeholders.

XXII. STANDARD for Subaward Management and Monitoring.  

XXIII. STANDARD for Award Management Support Offered to the Unit’s Faculty.

XXIV. STANDARD for Unit-Level Infrastructure for Fiscal Management of Sponsored Programs.

XXV. STANDARD for Unit-Level Infrastructure for Administrative Management of Sponsored Programs.


 For questions or further information, please complete our information request form.

What's in the full Standards?

STANDARD for Integration and Planning for Unit-Level Research.

The unit has defined priorities and strategic plans as related to research. The unit’s plans are aligned to institutional goals and strategies. Regular interactions occur between unit and central administration and periodic discussions center on research needs. Consistent messaging about research occurs at all levels of the unit. A commitment to research and research administration infrastructure is clearly evident. Research administration leadership has clearly articulated action plans and metrics that support and advance the unit’s research priorities.

The unit’s leadership expects regular and thorough assessments of the effectiveness of their research administration operations.

(This Standard is accompanied by seven features used by the Peer Reviewers in their assessment.)